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The Rupp Report

The Rupp Report: Italian Textile Machinery Exports Are Growing

Italy, as one of the most important European textile machinery producers, experienced a successful ITMA 2011. Most members of the Association of Italian Textile Machinery Manufacturers (ACIMIT) reported satisfactory results. On a recent trip to Italy, the Rupp Report had the chance to visit ACIMIT President Sandro Salmoiraghi. Of course, issues discussed were ITMA and the results for the Italian machinery suppliers in the year 2011.

Preliminary 2011 figures for Italy's textile machinery sector show continued increases in manufacturing production and exports, following a strong recovery in 2010 after the disastrous year 2009 with the very well-publicized slump in the global textile industry (See " Continued Growth For Italian Textile Machinery Sector In 2011," TexileWorld.com, February 7, 2012).

Strong Increase

The value of Italian textile machinery production for 2011 increased by 9 percent in comparison to 2010 production, netting a total of 2.6 billion euros, up from 2.4 billion euros the year before. As in every other important textile machinery-producing country, exports remain the major engine of growth in Italy. As Salmoiraghi mentioned, "The dynamism of the major textile markets, combined with the ability of Italian machinery manufacturers to assert themselves on a global scale, has contributed to supporting the exports of the Italian manufacturers."

The figures are quite impressive:

Italian Textile Machinery Industry (millions of euros)


Increase Over 2009

2011 **

Increase Over 2010

Domestic consumption
Domestic demand
** Provisional figures

In spite of the positive results obtained at ITMA 2011, Salmoiraghi commented, many ACIMIT members have been cautious, and they've had mixed emotions regarding the near future and the year 2012, considering the imminent clouds appearing over the financial markets. "And," Salmoiraghi said, "the home market throughout the Eurozone remained quite weak. The main reason for that was the current uncertain economic situation."

The global demand for textile machinery was slowing down last summer due to the difficult financial situation. Many negotiations, which started at ITMA in Barcelona, Spain, were not yet finalized. Even in the latest ACIMIT report giving the provisional figures for 2011, Salmoiraghi was extremely cautious. "The economic slowdown has also affected and currently affects developing countries as well, including their textile sectors," he mentioned. And he further added, "The drop in consumer spending in developed markets has penalized major apparel exporting countries — above all China."

Asian Markets Most Important

Some 80 percent of Italian textile machinery product is exported. In 2011, 25 percent of all exports were shipped to China, and a total of 50 percent of all exports were delivered to Asian markets. Data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) for the period of January through October 2011 show considerable growth for Italian exports in all markets, as follows:

Italian Export Growth:  January through October 2011

Increase Over 2010
+ 88%
+ 83%
+ 81%
+ 58%
+ 56%
South Korea
+ 53%
+ 49%
+ 44%
+ 30%
+ 22%
+ 15%
+ 15%
+ 11%

Positive Signs Ahead For 2012

And how is the feeling in Italy now for 2012? "Well," Salmoiraghi said, "there is a much better mood among our member companies. Everybody is confident that the markets will soon recover. China, India, and, above all, Turkey are showing very positive growth rates. There are still some problems in Brazil due to the restricted import and export rules, but we are confident that this will be settled very soon. Also, our home market, Italy, shows some recovery. On top of that, we have a clear sign that the markets in many sectors will be recovering in the next few months: the microelectronics industry is back working at full tilt. Chips and other products from this sector are built into virtually every modern product, and therefore, also into textile machinery. And that's very good news for your readers, isn't it?"

Yes, it is, Mr. Salmoiraghi.

February 14, 2012